Friday, January 19, 2018 | Volume IV • Issue 21

All-School News

Two Important Parent Programs Coming Up Next Week

Monday, Jan. 22 - Parents for Diversity; Wednesday, Jan. 24 - Parent One FCS Meeting

Our Parents for Diversity Working Group Meeting on Monday in Middle School Room 10 will begin important diversity work that will continue throughout the year. The evening will kick off with information from Head of School Craig N. Sellers and Assistant Head of School for Academic Program Mariama Richards on diversity hiring and enrollment initiatives, followed by a conversation with our Parents for Diversity divisional parent leaders, and end with a group activity. This group is designed for parents excited to work on equity and inclusion initiatives at FCS. We look forward to seeing you there! Questions? Contact Dwight Dunston.
-Allessandro Condiff (Noah '19), Timika Lane (Tori '19), and Lisa Mathewson (Evan '20)


All Parent One FCS Information & School Overview Meeting - Wed., Jan. 24, 7:30 pm, MS Room 10

The Home and School Association invites all parents across the three divisions to join us for this year's Parent One FCS Meeting on Jan. 24 at 7:30 pm in Middle School Room 10. At this meeting, parents will receive updates on curriculum and technology from Mariama Richards, Assistant Head of School for Academic Program; Michelle Crowley, Director of Athletics and Wellness; and Dwight Dunston, Coordinator of Equity and Justice Education. During the final portion of the evening, Craig N. Sellers, Head of School, will discuss the Long Range planning process and share some of the results from the LRP surveys. If you have any questions, please contact Andrea Nuneviller.


Shakespeare in Performance Class Performs The Tempest - Jan. 21

Join the Shakespeare in Performance class's wonderful treatment of possibly the Bard's last work on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 12 noon in the Meeting Room. Inspired by our work with the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton VA, the students have made a wonderful version (about 50 minutes) of The Tempest using mostly our imaginations and some carefully chosen sound effects. Our production is family friendly and invites the audience to sit on stage and surround the action. 


Marley Dias Gets It Done (And So Can You) - Feb. 3, 2:30 pm
In partnership with Children's Book World, we're thrilled to invite you to a talk by Marley Dias on Saturday, Feb. 3 in Shallcross Hall. Doors open at 1:45 pm. 
In 2015, when she was just 11 years old, Marley launched a campaign called #1000BlackGirlBooks. A voracious reader, her goal was to collect and donate 1,000 books that feature black girls as the main character. Come hear from Dias about her book Marley Dias Gets It Done – And So Can You, where she shows kids how to make positive changes in their communities. The event is recommended for grades 3-8. Click here for more information and to buy your ticketIn an effort to help Marley with her mission to bring books featuring black female protagonists to school libraries, we will be accepting donations of new children's books that will go to Anderson Elementary School in West Philadelphia.

An Evening with Chill Moody and Hardwork Movement - Feb. 8, 7:30 pm
Join us on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 pm in Shallcross Hall for a conversation with hip hop artists and poets Chill Moody and Dwight Dunston '06, FCS Coordinator of Equity & Justice Education, and the members of Hardwork Movement, followed by a performance by Hardwork Movement and a Q&A session with the musicians. Click here to register. Click here to read about Chill Moody, named "Best Rapper" in Philadelphia Magazine's annual "Best of Philly" issue; click here to read about Hardwork Movement, a hot, up-and-coming hip-hop group, which features four outstanding alumni/ae musicians.

Great community turnout for MLK Day of Service at the Lower School! Click here for more photos from the day.

Lower School News

Message from Kelly Pierre

Lower School report cards will be released on Friday, Feb. 2. Families will receive a link to view the report cards on the Veracross parent portal.

In anticipation of opening your child's first semester report card, there are some things to keep in mind as you review your child's academic and social-emotional progress. The most important thing to be aware of is that these reports are written with the idea that adults will be reading them. The language is geared towards adults, not towards children. If you feel it would be beneficial to discuss the report with your child, one suggestion is that you find two positive things to highlight from the report and discuss one area for growth with your child. It is important that your child feels a foundation of success on which to build upon. More than one goal at a time can be overwhelming.


Click here to read Kelly's full message, which includes clarification on the check mark system used in Lower School reports.


Tonight! Grades 4 & 5 Spirit Night - Shimada Athletic Center - City Ave. Campus
Grade 4 and 5 families, come cheer on the FCS Varsity Girls' and Boys' Basketball teams as they take on Moorestown Friends! The girls tip off at 6:30, boys at 8 pm. All 4th and 5th graders in attendance will receive a free "Phoenix Phan" T-Shirt and $3 worth of "Phoenix Phan Dollars" to be redeemed at the concessions stand. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Questions please contact Andrea Nuneviller.

Looking Ahead! Lower School Upcoming Events

  • LS Parent and Special Friend Morning (grades 2-5) - Feb. 6, 9-11 am, preceded by coffee with Kelly Pierre starting at 8:15 am
  • LS Parent and Special Friend Morning (Pre-K, K, and grade 1) - Feb. 13, 9-11 am, preceded by coffee with Kelly Pierre starting at 8:15 am
  • Nursery parents are welcome to join us for coffee with Kelly Pierre at 8:15 am on Feb. 13.
  • LS Book Fair - Feb. 26-28, Family Night on Tuesday, Feb. 27. New to Book Fair? Click here to learn how it works!


Saturday AM Basketball/Field Hockey & Saturday PM Swimming

resumes tomorrow Saturday, Jan. 20.


Lower School Extended Day Program Drop-In Fees
This year, Extended Day Program (EDP) is proposing that all families who are not registered but are interested in dropping their child(ren) off to join Extended Day pay the fee on that day. The price of an Extended Day Program drop-in is $48 per child. Extended Day begins charging at 2:50 pm, the time of dismissal. Therefore, the drop-in fee is NOT for the time after Parent Pick-Up, but rather for the time after dismissal. Play dates are not exempt from the drop-in fee. If your child(ren) is/are joining a family who goes to Extended Day, you are required to pay the $48 fee at time of pick up. There will NO longer be invoices sent for Extended Day payments. We accept all major credit cards, and Erica Seay, EDP Director, will have a swipe connected to an iPad to read credit cards.


Parents should email their child(ren)'s teacher(s) and Pat DeSabato at regarding the dismissal plan at 4 pm on those days their children will be attending clubs.


MLK Day of Service - Thank you to all who participated!

Thanks to all the parents, students, and alumni/ae who helped make cozy pillows, cheery suncatchers, and useful cleaning kits for our friends at Families Forward. Thank you to everyone who donated cleaning supplies and baby gear. Finally, a special thank you to Julie Shapiro and Chandra Thorne, who planned, organized, and led us through this special morning of service.  

Save the Date! Grade 1 & 2 Movie Night, Friday, Feb. 3, 6:30 pm

Come in PJs with your stuffies and blankies! Pizza dinner for the kids followed by a movie. If you are interested in helping, please contact Andrea Nuneviller.



Monday, 1/22: Grilled Cheese w/ fresh sliced turkey

Tuesday, 1/23: Chicken taco cups w/ all the fixings

Wednesday, 1/24: Grilled veggies over spaghetti w/ lemon butter sauce
Thursday, 1/25: Blueberry pancakes w/ homemade berry sauce

Friday, 1/26: Pizza Day, tossed salad, fresh fruit



"Sikh Captain America" Vishavjit Singh with Middle Schoolers

Middle School News

Message from Alexa Quinn

Many thanks to the organizers and participants from this past Monday's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. We had many Middle School students and family members here, and together we were able to make, pack, and deliver 600 lunches and toiletry bags to the Bethesda Project's sites where they care for and support Philadelphians who are or have been homeless. Thank you!

On Wednesday, we altered our schedule (due to the 2-hour delay) to recapture some class time that has been missed due to the weather. It was a successful experiment, and I think we are likely to use this schedule again for any delays that may occur on Wednesdays. On Thursday, we had another successful lockdown drill. Our safety and security folks tested our alarms, communications, and response to the lockdown, and I am grateful to our Middle School students and faculty for following our procedures calmly and quickly. We are also now well-practiced using an app called Ruvna to electronically check-in faculty students so we know where everyone is and that they are accounted for in the event of an emergency.

Today, we heard Vishavjit Singh present on his journey as a Sikh in America, his work as a cartoonist, and his alter ego, Sikh Captain America. In his talk, he highlighted the importance of questioning labels others may place on us, encouraging students to define themselves and to push back against stereotypes and intolerance. He also reminded us about the power of art and stories -- both in expressing our identifies and also in better understanding the world and people around us. Have a great weekend, and go Eagles!


Report Cards

Friday, Jan. 26 is the final day of the first semester and the midpoint of the year. Middle School report cards will be released Friday, Feb. 2. Families will receive a link to view the report cards on the Veracross parent portal. Students will be able to view their report cards later that day so that it is not a distraction during the school day.


Middle School Book Fair is Coming!

From February 5-7, MS Room 10 becomes a pop-up bookstore! This year, we will be going crazy for Hamilton! We need parents to help set up, cashier, and break down the book fair. There are many shifts to choose from. Click here to sign up to volunteer. Please contact Christine Giordano if you have any questions.


Thank you to all who participated in the MLK Day of Service

Thanks to everyone who came to make sandwiches, pack toiletries, and delivery the items to Bethesda Project. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the toiletry and cookie drive; your donations make a difference. Finally, a huge thank you to Catherine Corson and Anjali Thapar for planning organizing, and leading us on this wonderful morning of service.


Upper School Shakespeare in Performance students paid a visit to Lower School today to present an abridged version of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Join us for the showcase performance this Sunday, Jan. 21 at 12 noon in Shallcross!

Upper School News

Message from the Upper School Office

Spirit Week brought lots of "twins" on Tuesday, pajama-clad students on Wednesday (somehow especially appropriate given our snowy late opening), and a "convocation" of fans in Eagles jerseys on Thursday. Today was a sea of blue and grey as we dressed in school colors in preparation for Spirit Night in Shimada; activities begin at 5 pm with the JV boys' bball game vs. Moorestown Friends, followed by Varsity girls' at 6:30 pm and Varsity boys' at 8 pm. Please join us!


In the world of FCS arts, Upper School singers visited Lower School last week to present a program in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, and drama teacher Terry Guerin took her Shakespeare in Performance class to Lower School today to share their collaborative production of The Tempest. All are invited on Sunday at noon in Shallcross Hall when the class presents this condensed and energetic version of Shakespeare's final play to a wider audience. Next week is exam week (see the exam schedule here) with review days on Monday and Tuesday, followed by three days of exams. The exams are intended to help students synthesize the material of the first half of the year before moving forward in the curriculum, and the review days focus on how students can prepare effectively so they can show how much they have to say about all they've learned this fall. Teacher Debbie Skapik returned from a recent conference of high school physics teachers with a new stress-relieving strategy, and our students are decompressing by taking crayons and markers to black-and-white images culled from physics papers.


In our ongoing survey of what's fun about being at FCS, we're excited to announce that Wednesday brought the first weekly Phoenix Update, a two-minute student-made video of news, birthday shout-outs, sports updates, and more. Thanks to all the behind-the-scenes organizers and technical support, as well as on-camera talent, for bringing this fun community-building upgrade to our daily announcements.  


Upper School 1-to-1 iPad Program Survey

The 2017-2018 school year marks the 4th year of our 1-to-1 iPad program. This program came out of our last strategic planning process, Vision 2020. As we begin a new long range planning process it is important to revisit some of the elements of that last plan. At this point we will address the 1-to-1 program in relationship to the Upper School only. Click here for quick survey that seeks to understand your child's experience with the device. Please complete the survey by Wednesday, Jan. 31. This info will be used to make an informed decision about what device would be ideal to deliver a student-centered academic program. Thank you for your time and attention.
Mariama Richards, Assistant Head of School for Academic Program
Dan Crowley, Director of Technology


MLK Day Thank You!

Thank you to all students and parents who came to Har Zion and participated in the MLK Day of Service. A special thank you to Paula Yudenfriend Green who coordinated with Har Zion to make the afternoon such a good experience.


Junior College Night - Jan. 30 
The Class of 2019 is kicking off the college process with meetings with their college counselors. Juniors and their parents are invited to the upcoming Junior College Night featuring keynote speaker Mary Green Maier, Haverford College's Director of Admission. Please join us on Jan. 30 at 7 pm in Shallcross Hall to learn about the admission process from the college perspective.


Senior Parents: Yearbook ad deadline extended, send in your ads!
Yearbook recognition ads are a great way for parents, families, and friends to commemorate student achievements and milestones. Revenue from recognition ads also help us to create a better yearbook. To purchase your ad online, follow the instructions on this form. Jostens is managing our yearbook ad sales, so please do not contact or send materials to the School. Please read thead guidelines on the bottom of the form during the creation of your ad online. The deadline date to place an ad in the yearbook has been extended to February 16. Also, please remember to order your yearbook at the discounted price of $65.


Grade 10 Parent Gathering with Student Acappella Performance!

Next Friday, Jan. 26, 7-9 pm in the OPA Room. RSVP to Jessica Cooper

Grade 12 Parent Gathering, Tomorrow night, Saturday, Jan. 20

Senior parents: Join us tomorrow night, Saturday, Jan. 20, 7-9 pm in the OPA Room of the Main Building. Click here to contribute to the evening.


A Cappella Sing-Off - Sunday, Feb. 4 at 1 pm, Haverford School

The members of the FCS Foxtones, Grace Notes, and Spicetones will be participating in the 6th Annual A Cappella Sing Off, sponsored by Ardmore Rotary, on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 1 pm at The Haverford School (Centennial Hall). Tickets are available at the door and are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Each school will receive $500 for the charity of its choice. Come and support the FCS US Vocal groups as they sing to raise money for AIDS Fund Philly.   



Sat. Morning Basketball - grades 3, 4, 5

Jan. 20; Feb. 10, 17 • 9:30 am


Sat. Afternoon Swimming - grades 3, 4, 5

Jan. 20; Feb. 10, 17 • 12:30 pm


Spirit Night
Jan. 19 • 6 pm


US Shakespeare Showcase
Jan. 21 • 2 pm


One FCS Parent Meeting
Jan. 24 • 7:30 pm


US Coffee House
Jan. 27 • 7 pm


One FCS Parent Meeting Snow Date

Jan. 31 • 7:30 pm


Marley Dias
Children's Book World/FCS Event
Feb. 3 • 2:30 pm


Grades 1 & 2 Movie Night

Feb. 2 • 6 pm


MS Book Fair

Feb. 5-7


LS Principal's Coffee (Gr. 2-5) 

Feb. 6 • 8:15 am 


LS Parent/Special Friend Visiting Morning (Gr. 2-5)

Feb. 6 • 9-11 am


Humanities Concert & Lecture
Feb. 8 • 7:30 pm


Rachel Slaughter, FCS Upper School Learning Specialist, has written a new book entitled Daddy, Read to Me. Click here for more information about the book and Rachel's upcoming reading/book signing appearances in 2018, including several this February!

Check the Lower Merion School District's Upcoming Community Events & Programs Calendar for some events of interest, including a talk by Al Vernacchio on March 8! 


Friends' Central Announces New Upper School Principal Beth Davis Johnson '77
Friends' Central is thrilled to announce that Beth Davis Johnson '77 will be returning to FCS to serve as Upper School Principal, effective July 2018. Head of School Craig N. Sellers says, "I could not be happier about Beth's enthusiastic return to her alma mater, and I look forward to creating opportunities for parents, faculty, and students to greet her in the new year." Read more.


Shallcross Hall Progress Report: Out with the Old, and Getting Ready for the New

Written by Julian Brenman '20, Co-Editor-in-Chief of FOCUS, Upper School Student Newspaper
Photography contributions by Dorothy Babb '20

An airier footprint, more varied options for seating, an upgraded kitchen, a brand new "food lab," and a cozier, more welcoming facade and foyer are just a few of the many things to which the FCS folks on City Avenue have to look forward when Shallcross Hall reopens its doors in the spring. Read more.


FCS Students Conduct Dining Hall Waste Audits, Find Surprising Results

In every division, Friends' Central students are taking a leadership role when it comes to waste generated on their campuses. This is just one of the many steps the School has taken to reduce environmental waste and improve sustainability efforts in the last few months. Read more.

Just the FaCtS is published each Friday by the Friends' Central Communications Office.
If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to email us at



Lower School Campus | 228 Old Gulph Road | Wynnewood, PA 19096 | 610.642.7575

Middle/Upper School Campus | 1101 City Ave. | Wynnewood, PA 19096 | 610.649.7440

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